SECTION Doc Premieres
RUN TIME 87 min
Despite a small population with a brief history in the U.S., Samoans and Tongans are 28 times more likely than any other minority group to play football for the famed NFL. Filmed over four years, filmmakers Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn track the journeys of four talented Polynesian high school football players as they strive toward their lifelong, and potentially life-changing, goal of professional recruitment.
Charismatic, passionate, and determined, the players' love of family is matched only by their love of this most American sport that seems to flow through their veins. Their speedy transformation from adolescence to adulthood in the high-stakes world of collegiate football is filmed with incredible access, shining a light on the extreme pressures to succeed that emanate from within the tightly knit Polynesian community, as well as from the outside.But gang violence, addiction, and poverty are a constant danger that can easily bring down a dream. Even with the best moms, siblings, and friends cheering from the grandstands, not everyone makes it to the big time. —H.C.